In the grand scheme of things, the World Wide Web has not been around for a very long time. Most of us have first used it in the mid-to-late nineties at the very earliest.
But despite its recent vintage, the Web has changed a considerable amount in its short lifespan. Those who remember using the Internet in the nineties will recall just how primitive most website designs were at that time. Even if we leave aside the clearly amateur sites, which were all too often crammed with unreadable fonts and distracting animated GIFs, far too many webpages were clunky and unintuitive by the standards of today.
Many changes have occurred since then, and one of the biggest issues to be faced by today’s web designers is the development of mobile devices. All of a sudden, designers find themselves attempting to cater for a wide variety of screens in various different shapes and sizes. What looks fine on a home computer may turn out to be unreadably small when viewed on an iPod, and what is perfectly suited to a mobile device may end up looking deformed and over-simplistic when somebody tries to view it on their PC.
The solution to this problem lies in making use of dynamic web design, also known as responsive web design or RWD for short. Primarily by using CSS queries, responsive web design is able to adapt web pages to fit whatever device they are being viewed on. The process is relatively new, and there are areas which need improvement: a current problem lies in the resizing of video files, for example. That said, headway has definitely been made in this area, and so dynamic web design will be a necessary subject of research for anybody who wishes to make the most of the wide range of devices on which websites are being viewed today.
As the world of web design moves forwards and breaks down boundaries, an increasing number of techniques and disciplines will develop in response to new problems which appear along the way. At times, the sheer amount of approaches to web design may become overwhelming: with every breakthrough comes a new problem, and with every problem comes a new discipline. With the ever-growing range of devices out there, however, mastery of dynamic web design will be essential for anybody who hopes to make cutting-edge websites today.